The various online productivity and marketing tools that Google offers have always been a good resource for non-profit organizations, but now Google has packaged them into a collection called Google for Non-profits. One of the tools, Google Grants, is a specific offering to non-profits, providing free online advertising through AdWords to eligible organizations. Google is also offering an online donation processing tool called Checkout with no fees until 2009.
Visiting the main page, you will find all of the tools in one place along with written, and in some cases video, instructions for how to use them. Each tool also has a “get inspired” link to show you how other non-profits are using that particular tool.
Not all of the tools will fit for every organization but you’re bound to find one or two that could make a difference to the work of your non-profit.
Having written many grant proposals with input from a number of people, I can tell you that the Google Docs application can make life much easier. This document sharing tool allows any number of people to contribute to the same document, getting rid of the need to manage multiple versions of the proposal while trying to keep track of the latest draft.
A tool that isn’t promoted as part of the Google for Non-profits collection is Google Reader. If you’ve been trying to stay on top of the online conversation about issues pertaining to your cause, Google Reader is very helpful. Reader manages your blog subscriptions, allowing you to review all the latest updates from one screen. It also allows you to bookmark certain posts and to share them with others. I’ve found this tool to be a huge time saver.
If you’ve been wondering how to get started implementing social media/Web.2.0 tools in your organization, Google for Non-profits is a good place to start.
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